Anime Classic ‘Tokyo Godfathers’ Gets Home Release from Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory and GKIDS on March 30 announced the upcoming release to home audiences of Tokyo Godfathers, which will be available for digital download on May 19 and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on June 2.

The release of the 2003 family anime film has been restored and remastered from a 4K transfer, and marks the first time the film is available with an English dub in addition to the original Japanese audio track.

From acclaimed director Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Perfect Blue), and co-written by Keiko Nobumoto (Cowboy Bebop), Tokyo Godfathers features a tale of hope and redemption in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Set in modern-day Tokyo, the film centers around three homeless people whose lives are changed forever when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve.

As the New Year approaches, the three forgotten members of society band together to solve the mystery of the abandoned child and the fate of her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts – teaching them to face their future.

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Bonus features include an interview with actress Shakina Nayfack, the featurettes “The Process of Animation,” “The Unexpected Tours,” and “Making of Tokyo Godfathers”; a film introduction by K.F. Watanabe, deputy director of film for the Japan Society of New York City; Ohayo, a short film by Satoshi Kon; and an art gallery.

Shout! Factory Sets Home Release Date for Complete ‘The Good Place’ Series

Shout! Factory has announced the May 19 home release of  The Good Place: The Complete Series.

The nine-disc Blu-ray Disc set will include all 53 episodes from the fantasy TV series about life in heaven, which ran on NBC from September 2016 to January 30, 2020.

From Michael Schur, executive producer of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Parks and Recreation,” “The Good Place” stars Ted Danson in an Emmy Award-nominated performance, Kristen Bell, D’Arcy Carden, William Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto.

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Everyone wonders what happens after death, but when Eleanor (Bell) dies tragically, she finds out that the afterlife is amazing. Filled with frozen yogurt, soulmates, and wonderful people who have done admirable things in their lives, it is everything you could ever ask for. The only thing wrong is Eleanor herself, who isn’t supposed to be in “The Good Place.” She finds that due to a clerical error, she’d been given someone else’s reward and has to be good in order to make sure her secret is not exposed.

Bonus features include extended episodes, audio commentary on season one episodes “Everything is Fine/Flying” and “Mindy St. Claire/Michael’s Gambit” and season two’s “Dance Dance Resolution” with creator Schur, executive producer Drew Goddard, and co-stars Jameela Jamil and D’Arcy Carden. Other extras include the finale special hosted by Seth Meyers, the 2019 Comic-Con panel, gag reels, visual effects reels, and a table read for the season one episode “Mindy St. Claire.”

Shout! Factory TV to Start Streaming ‘Johnny Carson’ Episodes

The first collection of episodes from “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” will start streaming April 1 on Shout! Factory TV.

The streaming service will bundle episodes into such groups “The Best of Carnac the Magnificent,” “The Best of George Carlin” and “Animal Antics With Joan Embery and Jim Fowler.”

Episodes will be available for streaming on demand across across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on and through Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android apps.

“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” ran for 30 years, with more than 5,000 episodes, and is credited by critics with creating the blueprint for every television host today. Carson was known for his Carmac the Magnificent sketches and interviews with guests from all walks of life — from politicians to popular authors, film and television stars.

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Carson’s show was also the first to regularly feature up-and-coming stand-up comedians, and getting a shot on the show was considered an amazing opportunity. Ellen DeGeneres, Louie Anderson, David Letterman and Drew Carey are among the many comedians who cite their “Tonight Show” appearances as crucial to their careers.

Shout! Factory TV has worked with the Carson Entertainment Group to curate standout episodes which will be grouped thematically.

Upcoming sets include “Comic Legends of the ’60s,” featuring Carl Reiner, Bob Newhart and Mel Brooks; “Hollywood Icons of the ’70s,” featuring Burt Reynolds, Goldie Hawn and Michael Caine; and others still to be announced.

Two Classics on the Way From Cohen Film Collection

Cohen Film Collection has announced the April 21 release of Pandora & The Flying Dutchman and The Europeans, coming to Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital platforms.

Shot on location in Spain, Pandora & The Flying Dutchman is a 1951 British Technicolor drama film directed and written by Albert Lewin, and starring Ava Gardner and James Mason.

Lewin, who specialized in fine literary adaptations (The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Moon and Sixpence), based this 1951 film on the legend of the Flying Dutchman. In this tale, however, the Flying Dutchman is not a ship but rather a man with a sinister yet romantic mission. The story begins when a yacht arrives in the Spanish seaport of Esperanza carrying just one person, the mysterious captain Hendrick van der Zee (Mason). There he meets American nightclub singer Pandora Reynolds (Gardner), a beauty who men will kill and die for but who has never loved anyone.

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Bonus features on the double-disc Blu-ray and DVD include director Albert Lewin’s final film, the 1957 adventure movie The Living Idol; a Hedda Hopper trailer; restoration trailers; alternate openings; restoration comparisons; and the 1957 Playhouse 90 episode “The Death of Monolete.”

The Academy Award-nominated The Europeans, originally released in 1979, marked the first Merchant Ivory adaptation of a novel by Henry James. The film stars Oscar nominee Lee Remick (Days of Wine and Roses), Robin Ellis (star of the original and remake of the series “Poldark”) and Lisa Eichhorn (cult classic Cutter’s Way, The Talented Mr. Ripley).

Set in the 1850s just outside of Boston, the film follows the wealthy and puritanical Wentworth family as their lives are upended by the not-so-welcome arrival of two of their European cousins Felix and Eugenia. Although suspicious about the reason for their visit, they are set up in a neighboring house on the property. While Felix enjoys the company of his cousins, Eugenia is a bit more standoffish when it comes to the real reason for her trip, as it becomes more and more apparent that she hopes to make an advantageous marriage with one of her wealthy cousins.

In addition to its Oscars recognition, The Europeans was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and best foreign film at the 1980 Golden Globes, among other awards worldwide.

Bonus features on both the Blu-ray and DVD releases include the original trailer, the restoration trailer, a conversation with filmmakers, and “Conversation on the Quad,” in which James Ivory discusses the making of the film.

Shout! Factory Sets Home Release Date for Imax D-Day Doc

Shout! Factory has announced a May 5 home release date for Imax D-Day: Normandy 1944, a Tom Brokaw-narrated documentary that will be available for home viewing on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc.

The documentary was specially filmed for Imax and giant-screen theaters.

Disc one includes the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray widescreen version and disc two includes the regular Blu-ray 1080p HD widescreen version. The release also includes an original music score performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

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D-Day: Normandy 1944 covers the critical World War II developments of late 1943 to August 1944, detailing the events that led up to, as well as the aftermath of, the famous June 6, 1944, Allied invasion of Normandy, France. Exploring history, military strategy, science, technology, and the enduring human spirit, the film allows audiences of all ages to discover, from a new perspective, how this landing changed the world.

Bonus features include separate interviews with director Pascal Vuong, narrator Tom Brokaw, and historical advisor Pete Herrly, and two behind-the scenes featurettes — one on Normandy and the other on sand animation.


Shout! Factory Moves Up Digital Release of ‘Promare’

Joining several big studios that have pushed up the home release dates for movies due to the closure of theaters, Shout! Factory March 18 announced that Promare will be available as a digital download earlier than originally scheduled.

The anime film will now be available to download on April 21, as opposed to the original release date of May 5. Consumers can now order the film in advance through iTunes. The Blu-ray Disc, DVD combo pack and standalone DVD version will still be available on the originally planned date of May 19.

The film, which at its peak was shown on 701 screens, is about the creation of a futuristic firefighting “mecha” service to protect the world. It takes place 30 years after the first appearance of the Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves Mad Burnish appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue team Burning Rescue, and Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish, begins.

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Promare’s all-star English dub voice cast includes Billy Kametz (“Neon Genesis Evangelion” series), Johnny Yong Bosch (Bleach, Akira, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Crispin Freeman (Mirai), and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld (Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!).

Bonus features on the home release versions include an interview with director Hiroyuki Imaishi, a round table with Studio TRIGGER, and the short films Side: Galo and Side: Lio, both with new English dubs featuring the original dub cast.

Fans who pre-order the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack from will receive an exclusive, limited-edition 18-inch-by-24-inch lithograph, while supplies last. There will also be a steelbook edition of the Blu-ray available exclusively at Best Buy, to be released on May 19.


Shout! Factory Sets Home Release Dates for ‘Standing Up, Falling Down’

Shout! Factory has set a March 31 home release date for Standing Up, Falling Down, a comedy film directed by Matt Ratner and written by Peter Hoare.

Starring Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, and Eloise Mumford, the film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and will be available to home audiences on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and digital on demand.

After years of chasing his stand-up comedy dream in Los Angeles, 34-year-old Scott (Schwartz) crashes and burns. Left with little money and a failed career, he has no choice but to regroup and return to his parent’s house in Long Island. Trying to figure out what to do next, he pines after his ex (Mumford), a successful photographer who had since married a former mutual friend. During a night out at the bar, he meets an eccentric dermatologist (Crystal) who, having regrets of his own, helps Scott find the courage to face his failures.

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Bonus features include the theatrical trailer, audio commentary with director Ratner and stars  Crystal and Schwartz, and a three-part look at the making of Standing Up, Falling Down.

BBC Sends ‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’ Home

BBC Studios March 10 announced the immediate availability of Seven Worlds, One Planet, a seven-part series from BBC Studios Natural History Unit and co-produced with BBC America, Tencent Penguin Pictures, ZDF, France Télévisions, and China Media Group CCTV9.

The series is available at a suggested retail price of $29.98 for DVD and $49.99 for a Blu-ray Disc/4K Ultra HD  combo pack.

Seven Worlds, One Planet tells the story of the continents and how they shape animal behavior and the biodiversity seen today. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough and featuring theme music co-composed by Hans Zimmer and Jacob Shea, the series was filmed across 41 different countries and features an episode in each continent.

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Bonus material includes a photo gallery and the featurettes “Highs and Lows of Wildlife Filmmaking,” “McMurdo — Would You Dive Below the Antarctic Ice?” and “Fireflies — Behind the Scenes in an Enchanted Forest.”

The series ran on the BBC beginning in October 2019.


Kino Lorber Sets Home Release Dates for April Classic Movie Slate

Kino Lorber has set home release dates for its April 2020 slate of classic movies. The 19-movie slate begins rolling out April 7 with the following releases, available on Blu-ray Disc only:

Angel — a 1937 comedy from the legendary director of The Love Parade and The Merry Widow, Ernst Lubitsch. The film features the wife of a British diplomat who goes to Paris and has a short-lived affair with an American, who turns out to be old war buddies with her husband. Included with the film is a new audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride, author of How Did Lubitsch Do it?

Murder, He Says — a 1945 comedy about a public opinion surveyor who is sent to the town of Plainville after the previous one went missing. As he works with one of the local families, he begins to suspect that the lady and her two sons murdered the previous surveyor. Bonus features include a new audio commentary by filmmaker and historian Michael Schlesinger and film archivist Stan Taffel.

The Lives of A Bengal Lancer — a 1935 feature depicting the tale of the heroic men who guarded the British Empire’s perilous Khyber Pass in India. Deadly threats escalate when the men join a mission to overthrow an evil chieftain, Mohammed Khan. Bonus features include a new audio commentary by film historian Eddy Von Mueller.

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The General Died at Dawn — a 1936 feature directed by Lewis Milestone about a soldier of fortune who winds up falling into conflict between two warlords, when General Yang and General Wu each attempt to purchase arms to control the Chinese provinces. The General Died at Dawn was nominated for three Oscars: Actor in a Supporting Role (Akim Tamiroff), Cinematography (Victor Milner) and Score (Boris Morros, Werner Janssen). Bonus features include a new audio commentary by author and film historian Lee Gambin and Actress and film historian Rutanya Alda.

Beau Geste — a 1939 action film from William A. Wellman, featuring three brothers who join the French Foreign Legion, where they fall under the rule of a tyrannical sergeant. The brothers fight for their lives as they plot a mutiny against tyranny and defend a desert fortress against a brutal enemy. Included with the film is new audio commentary by William Wellman Jr. and historian Frank Thompson.

Subsequent releases will be issued on Blu-ray Disc as well as standard DVD.

Coming April 14 are The Limit, a 1957 feature about a major in the U.S. Army who is accused of aiding his captors while held in a North Korean prison during the war and brought up on charges of treason; Cattle Annie and Little Britches, a 1981 Western from Lamont Johnson; Jenny, a 1970 drama about a woman who winds up pregnant and moves to New York City, where she marries a local filmmaker who wants to avoid getting drafted into Vietnam and offers to support her if he can claim the baby as his own; and Song of Norway, a 1970 musical biography based on the life of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

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Due April 21 are Secret Ceremony, a 1968 drama from Joseph Losey about a mysterious young woman, who, when riding a bus in London, mistakes a middle-aged prostitute for her recently deceased mother and invites her to move into her home and act as her mother; Woman Times Seven, a 1967 anthology film of seven episodes starring Shirley MaClaine, mostly  based on aspects of love and adultery; Connecting Rooms, a 1971 drama about two older people whose lives are linked when they become lodgers in the same seedy boarding house in London; Love Among Ruins, a 1975 drama and winner of six Emmy Awards from director George Cukor that stars Katharine Hepburn as a recent divorcee and Laurence Olivier as her lawyer and, as it turns out, an old suiter of hers from decades before.

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Rounding out Kino’s April 2020 slate are five more releases arriving in stores on April 28: Outcast of the Islands, a 1952 film about a man who is dismissed from his management position at a Dutch East Indies port after being accused of stealing; The Sound Barrier, a 1952 feature about a wealthy oilman with a passion for aviation who, in his quest to break the sound barrier, has already lost his son and chooses his daughter’s husband and World War II pilot to be one of the test pilots; Billy Liar, a 1963 comedy from director John Schlesinger about a working-class man who has dreams of escaping his dead-end job that finally meets a woman who just might inspire him to move out of his parents’ house; The Caper of the Golden Bulls, a 1967 comedy from writer and director Russell Rouse about a retired bank robber that is blackmailed by a former companion in to stealing some precious jewels at a bank in Spain; and Don’t Drink the Water, a 1969 comedy based on a play by actor, writer, and director Woody Allen.


Shout! Factory, Eleven Arts Set Home Release Dates for ‘Sound! Euphonium: The Movie’

Shout! Factory and Eleven Arts on March 9 announced home release dates for Sound! Euphonium: The Movie — Our Promise: A Brand New Day.

The anime film will be released on digital download and On Demand on May 19, and in a Blu-ray Disc plus DVD combo pack on June 6.

Sound! Euphonium comes from Kyoto Animation, the critically acclaimed studio behind A Silent Voice: The Movie, Liz and the Blue Bird, and Violet Evergarden.

Bonus features include interviews with the English voice cast, featuring the talent of Christian La Monte (Shuichi Tsukamoto, director of English dub), Laura Post (Reina Kousaka) and Xanthe Huynh (Satsuki Suzuki).

In the film, Kumiko is now in her second year at Kitauji High School, “and with a new year comes new problems,” according to a news release. “As if making it to Nationals wasn’t hard enough, Kumiko is tasked with mentoring the concert band’s troublesome first years — each with their own distinct personality and problems to solve. With Kumiko busy juggling both the concert band and her new role as senpai, how does her relationship with Shuichi fit into the picture?”

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Sound! Euphonium is a popular franchise, starting as a series of YA novels and adapted into a manga and an anime series that ran for two seasons.

Eleven Arts is a Los Angeles-based distribution company known for bringing acclaimed anime films to North America. Eleven Arts’ anime titles most recently include A Silent Voice, Millennium Actress, Penguin Highway, Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms, Laughing Under The Clouds: Gaiden, Liz and the Blue Bird, Penguin Highway, and The Wonderland.